From assisting in the hiring process to keeping your rail operations running efficiently, TCS stands ready to provide solutions.


We analyze everything from operating, engineering and mechanical needs to optimize daily operation procedures.  We can prepare or audit a timetable, special instructions, operating rules, air brake rules and train handling guidelines, safety rules, mechanical rules and guidelines, or other operations-related manuals as well as other publications you need for your operation.  Other areas of expertise include:

  • Locomotive engineer and conductor certification audits and compliance reviews
  • Locomotive engineer train handling audits
  • Locomotive utilization
  • Train Dispatcher audits
  • Operating crew rule compliance audits including field testing for crews and managers
  • Help organize and carry out a pre-disciplinary hearing (sometimes referred to as an investigation) on the property to ensure a fair and impartial hearing
  • Preparation of an operating plan, strategic planning for day-to-day operation, and for emergency operations
  • Legal representation by an FRA and industry-approved expert witness(es)

In addition, TCS may be called to assist in completion of the railroad's Drug and Alcohol Policy (as required by 49 CFR 240.219 or 49 CFR 242.401).​


Our turnkey startup service has already been proven.  TCS has been successful in implementing a complete package for startup railroad operations for many railroads.  A number of factors generated a need for this service.

As Class I railroads began to spin off marginally profitable branch or "feeder" lines, Class III railroads have been created in an attempt to operate these lines with lower operating costs.  The majority of these branch/"feeder" lines involve Class I railroad operating conditions with the preexisting sophistication of train operating systems that were in place prior to the spin-off.  The Class I railroads require the new short line to have their train employees trained to the same level of proficiency that existed on the railroad prior to the Class III takeover of operations.  This is necessary for joint trackage situations which usually still exist between the short line and the Class I.  More extensive training also ensures a higher degree of professionalism for the short line as well as customer assurance that the service will be performed as well, if not better, after the spin-off.  TCS' reputation of professional training and certification leads the larger railroads to recommend TCS to the new operator with the assurance it will meet everyone's expectations.

The second set of factors in meeting the certification regulations for railroad startup are the levels of performance expectations for locomotive engineers and conductors.  This certification regulation is one of the most complicated in the FRA regulations, and as such, it is daunting for a startup railroad to meet these requirements without expert guidance.  TCS comes highly recommended to the new railroad for utilization in successfully meeting regulatory expectations.

Using our approach, consultant and trainer capability; client orientation; and strong delivery approach, TCS discusses strategic planning issues of its railroad operations.  We consider the short line's framework of operation and then prepare an entire operating plan to fit their needs, which typically encompass the following elements:

  • Preparing 49 CFR Parts 240 and 242 submission and providing it to the FRA
  • On-site classroom training
  • Providing professional TCS instructors
  • On-the-job training
  • Certification/licensing locomotive engineers and conductors
  • Knowledge and skills assessments of train employees
  • On-going administration of the 49 CFR Parts 240 and 242 programs

When required, TCS personnel may assist in the operation of trains for the client, utilizing our sister company Rail Temps Inc., immediately from the date of operational startup and continue day-to-day operation of the railroad until the railroad's students are qualified, certified, and deemed proficient for solo operation.

We can provide additional services such as assisting in completion of the short line's Drug and Alcohol Policy (49 CFR Parts 240.219 and 242.401) and implementation of railroad operating rules, testing, inspections, and instruction (49 CFR 240.117 and 242.403), both of which are mandated by the FRA.

TCS may be asked to prepare the short line's timetable, special instructions, air brake rules and guidelines, mechanical rules and guidelines, operating rule book or other operations-related publications.

Give us a call, or use our online contact form so we can discuss your operational and training needs.

Rail Safety Training, Certification, Staffing, and Support​